Want to know how to do a messy bun? From the basics to occasion-worthy updos, this is your guide to becoming a messy bun pro.
Perfect for casual weekends or even lounging around at home, it’s not surprising that the messy bun has become a cult classic in every lazy girl’s hair routine.
But what is a messy bun? Simply put, it’s a more undone version of the ballerina bun updo. You can wear your messy bun high on the head or low at the nape of the neck, meaning there’s a look to suit everyone’s personal style.
So if you want a piece of the action but aren’t sure how to do a messy bun, you’re in luck as this updo is one of the easiest hairstyles around (seriously, even total hair newbies can master this look!). Follow our video tutorial above or keep scrolling below for 6 (yes, 6!) different ways to create a messy bun for every occasion.
1. How to do a messy bun: The basics
Put your hair in a ponytail.
Start by using your fingers to rake your hair into a ponytail and tie with a hair elastic. Using your fingers rather than a brush will help add to the undone feel of the look.
Tease your hair.
You can read all about how to tease your hair for more volume, here.
Wrap your hair into a bun.
Leave a few loose strands around your face for a more natural, lived-in look.
Editor’s tip: For a seamless finish, try to use bobby pins that match the colour of your hair. This way, you won’t be able to see the clip poking out of your bun.
Set with hairspray.
Did you know that messy buns are a perfect second-day hairstyle? It’s true! Whether you’ve woken up late and don’t have time to wash your hair, or your hair is just fine and generally more prone to oiliness, with just some dry shampoo & some clever styling, no-one will ever know…
2. Messy bun tutorial for fine or greasy hair
Prep with dry shampoo.
Then brush through your hair to evenly work in the product and get rid of any knots.
Create a high ponytail.
Tip: If you’re finding it tricky to get your ponytail as high as you’d like, try flipping your hair and creating it upside down!
Wrap your hair around.
Pin the hair down with bobby pins, leaving some sections looser than others to create a perfectly-imperfect effect.
Tip: Got layered hair? Then you may find that your shorter strands spray out of your bun. Don’t worry though, as any stray pieces of hair can always be tamed with clips or slicked down with a little hairspray. Besides, this just adds to the lived-in look!
Set it with hairspray.
Although the undone vibe is essential to the messy bun, we don’t want it to get too much messier throughout the day!
Therefore, the last step in this messy bun tutorial is to set your hair with hairspray.
And it’s as easy as that! Don’t worry if your hair doesn’t look exactly like the photos, as the final result will be slightly different every time. Embrace the individuality!
See how top blogger babes N1kk1sSecr3t and Tiny Twisst give the messy bun their own unique twists:
3. Braided messy bun by N1kk1sSecr3t
4. Low messy bun tutorial by Tiny Twisst
Now that you’ve got the basics down, you might be wondering if there’s anything you can do to smarten up your look for more formal occasions? And the answer to that is…absolutely!
5. How to make a messy bun with curls
With just a few tweaks you can easily transform a standard messy bun into something really special. Our favourite way to do this? Curls, of course!
How to get the look:
1. Start by sectioning your hair and giving your tresses a good all-over spritz of a heat protectant.
3. Gently twist your hair into a bun using the original messy bun tutorial method above, being careful not to flatten any of the volume from the curls you’ve just created.
4. Leave a few face-framing strands of hair loose around your hairline for a romantic, dishevelled look, secure in place with bobby pins and you’re ready for action!
6. How to create a party-perfect twisted messy bun
If you’re worried about damage and would prefer not to use heat on your hair, you might think that styling options are limited. However, we’re happy to report that’s not the case! Another failsafe way to liven up a classic messy bun, is to work a twisted detail into your bangs.
How to get the look:
1. This style works best on second day, unwashed hair, so if yours is freshly washed, start by spraying your mane with dry shampoo. This will make it much easier to form your bun and provide it with extra staying power!
2. Use a tail comb to create a deep side parting on your prefered side of your head. Then, use your comb again to separate the front section of hair from both sides of your part and clip these pieces out of the way for now.
3. Next, use a small hairbrush to tease the large section of hair at the back of your head to amp up the volume.
4. Once you’ve done this, create your bun by gathering your hair into a low ponytail and creating a looped bun.
5. Now it’s time to turn your attention back to those 2 sections of hair you left free earlier. Taking one section at a time, divide the pieces of hair into 2 and twist them together to form a rope braid.
6. Draw the hair back to the crown of your head and wrap it around and underneath your bun. Secure with bobby pins and repeat with the other section of hair.
7. Et voila! Simply finish up with a mist of hairspray to keep your ‘do looking flawless all night! This style would be ideal for weddings and other formal occasions, and it’s totally DIY-friendly.